By the end of this week, Haines may have a new borough manager and police chief selected. Finalists for both jobs are set to visit this weekend.
The roster of front-runners for manager has shifted again. According to Borough Clerk Julie Cozzi, Kate Fjell declined an offer to continue in the manager vetting process. The assembly voted in late April to add Fjell to the slate of four finalists, following withdrawals from two of their initial top picks.
One of the candidates the assembly designated as a ‘back-up’ finalist will take Fjell’s place. Paul Dauphinais is currently the executive director of the Alaska Public Offices Commission. He has been in that job for about five years and also has experience as a chamber of commerce director and college president.
The other three manager finalists are William Seward, Mark Karet and Kevin Opple. Seward is Coast Guard boating safety director in Florida with Alaska roots. Opple is director of operations at Naval Station Everett in Washington. Karet is a county administrator in Florida.
There are three finalists for the top job at the Haines police department. William ‘Dave’ Mckillican is the only candidate with Alaska experience. He is currently police chief in Hoonah. Timothy O’Neill is police sergeant in a 50,000-person town in Wisconsin. And Heath Scott is a deputy chief of police working in Washington DC.
Interim Borough Manager Brad Ryan added Scott as a finalist after one of the candidates he initially shortlisted withdrew from consideration.
Haines residents will have an opportunity to meet and give input about the candidates this Friday and Saturday. These are the events that are open to the public:
On Friday, the public safety commission will interview police chief candidates between 2 and 5:15 p.m. The public is welcome to observe, but should not expect to participate. From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., there will be a meet and greet with police chief and manager candidates at the library. At that event, members of the public will be able to write their thoughts about the finalists for the assembly and public safety commission to consider.
On Saturday at 1 p.m., the public safety commission will meet in assembly chambers with Interim Manager Brad Ryan to consider hiring for police chief. At 2 p.m., the assembly with meet in the library to consider selection of a new manager. Although both meetings are open the public, part of the discussion might take place in executive session.
If all goes as planned, the assembly may offer a contract to a new manager, while the interim manager, with the advice of the public safety commission, may choose a new police chief.
Richard Fursman, who was hired by the assembly to conduct the manager and police chief search, did not return requests for comment by deadline Monday.